The National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention has asked me to participate in a dialogue/”soft” debate at their keynoter event on March 1, 2010 in Nashville. The topic is a favorite of ours “The Church and Its Response to Homosexuality.” A recent speaker was Ken Starr. Expected attendance is 5000. I plan to tell part of the story of our amazing friend and colleague, Bishop Paul Egertson.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Greetings! Jess Kalup here, your media co-chair for the 2010 Soulforce Symposium here at the Courtyard by Marriott in Downtown Philadelphia. While things are here are really heating up, I wanted to break for a moment and recap the ongoings thus far.
Last night we had a “munch and mingle” (as my colleague Jason Conner puts it) at the William Way Center in Center City Philadelphia. Light bites and a few drinks were shared with Jay Bakker, Ray Bolts, Azariah Southworth and a collection of other amazing individuals. Ray even gave us a special performance! It’s great to take a moment, the calm before the storm if you will, to rest and relax before our big events. Plus getting to meet the people behind all those e-mails address is pretty fantastic, too.
We kicked off our public events with our Celebrate Life! Rally at Love Park in Downtown Philadelphia. Hundreds of people came! I was fortunate enough to be the MC/host for the event and it was so much fun captivating such an awesome audience! All of these rad queer and trans folks and our allies gathered in this incredible park really made me LOVE my hometown even more. Special thanks to our speakers and performers: Jay Bakker, Kavi, Melanie Martinez, Gloria Casarez, Ray Bolts, Azariah Southworth, Rev. Jeffrey Jordan, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, amazing!
It was a late night last night and early morning today, but the fantastic plenary by Jay Bakker made it totally worth it! Jay Bakker is the pastor of Revolution NYC and is an out and proud straight ally (and yeah, the son of Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker). He has been working with Soulforce for a few years and has absolutely raised the bar on what it means to be a straight ally. He’s met with Joel Olstein, stood even when his foundation has crumbled, and has never backed down in his belief that all people are created in God’s image and absolutely deserving of God’s love.
His speech today gave an overview of his experiences as an ally and was inspiring and challenging. He consistantly calls on straight people to stand up and speak out for the LGBTQIAP communities, even when your voice shakes. “Silence is violence,” he said, then recapped MLK: It is not the words of our enemies we remember, but the silence of our friends.
I’m looking forward to a full day ahead with more workshops, keynote speakers, and a special performance at dinner with Peterson Tuscano. I’ll check back in soon!